Sean Payton could return to team sooner than expected

Saints head coach Sean Payton (AP Photo)
Saints head coach Sean Payton (AP Photo)

When Sean Payton was suspended by the NFL, he was told he could return after the Super Bowl.

According to ESPN, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may bring Payton back much sooner.

The report states Payton has started talks with the league to come back when the Saints regular season ends December 30th.

Goodell confirmed in Dallas Wednesday that talks have begun and will continue after the holidays, but didn't offer any details beyond that.

Aside from that, there is still the issue of Payton's contract.

Payton and the Saints still have not reached an agreement on a new contract extension.

So while Payton may be eligible for reinstatement earlier, it remains unclear if he can immediately return to the club if an extension is not reached by then.

A league spokesman had no further comment on the situation.